Soul Serenade was born out of my attempt to understand the heartache in my life and abandonment issues. But it’s far from a melancholy tale. Through a few literary devices, magical realism included, I explore my lifelong connection to soul music.
My father fostered my love for it. When I was six, my parents divorced and my beloved but troubled dad was gone for good. The records he left behind — vintage Aretha, Curtis Mayfield, the Staple Singers, Marvin Gaye and others — helped to shape my emotional development.
Soul Serenade explores my search for my father and myself via music by artists who forever changed American pop. Set in central Arkansas between 1983 and 1996, the memoir also tells the story of a gloriously earthy, working-class black family whose trials and triumphs were shaped and informed by the blues, gospel, funk and hip-hop.
The book arrives in digital and brick-and-mortar bookstores Jan. 26, 2016.